Johannesburg – The World Health Organization says Covid-19 is accelerating in Africa, having taken 98 days to reach 100 000 cases, and just 18 days to get to 200 000.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said community transmission has begun in more than half of Africa’s 54 countries, which is a ‘serious sign’.
The virus arrived in Africa largely via travellers from Europe, and is spreading beyond cities and commercial hubs into more rural areas, where many health systems are unequipped to handle cases requiring intensive care.
Moeti pointed out South Africa, where the virus has spread from Western Cape centred on Cape Town into rural Eastern Cape.
By last Thursday, South Africa had the continent’s highest number of cases.
“I’m afraid we probably will have to live with a steady increase of cases in Africa until an effective vaccine is found. Africa has more than 209 000 cases, still a small fraction, less than 3% of the global total,” Moeti said.